The Man from Nowhere
Lee Jeong-beom / South Korea / 2010 / 119 min
Lee Jong-beom's straight shot of serious genre bliss, THE MAN FROM NOWHERE, is undoubtedly one of the most stylish, relentless vengeance films to emerge from South Korea since Park Chan-Wook broke the mold in 2003 with OLDBOY. In Tae Sik (Korean matinee idol Won Bin of MOTHER and TAE GUK GI), Jong-beom brings to the screen one of the coolest, coldest, sexiest avengers since Dirty Harry. In the tradition of a great many Hollywood hardmen before him, Tae Sik lives a reclusive life as Korea's best looking pawnbroker, his only human contact a scrappy little girl named So Mi (Kim Sae Ron, TREELESS MOUNTAIN, SFIAAFF '09). After So Mi's junkie mother double-crosses the mafia and the girl is kidnapped in retaliation, Tae Sik jumps fist first into a swirling world of drug trafficking, child slavery and organ harvesting to get her back. Even when severed eyeballs and hands start flying, it's hard not to have sympathy for Mr. Vengeance as he rains down virtuous hellfire on So Mi's captors while police struggle to catch their breath. In a series of stunning action set-pieces, Tae Sik takes hapless goons apart as only an ex-special forces agent with a heart of gold and an ax to grind can, all the while delivering an improvisational masterclass on everything from escaping police custody with only a fork to giving a professional-level haircut in the dark with no scissors. Showcasing polished fight choreography performed by a fit and smoldering Won Bin, gorgeous cinematography, and a brutal, blood-soaked finale that will undoubtedly go down in the books as one of action's most savage sequences, THE MAN FROM NOWHERE is sure to satisfy.
- Director: Lee Jeong-beom
- Writer: Lee Jeong-beom
Sun 03.13 1200pm